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Motorcycle accident crash data to know before your next ride

Millions of people own motorcycles across the country, but there is some data to know before your next ride in Rhode Island. Of course, safety should always be your number one priority when on your motorcycle, but there is only so much you can do to protect yourself.

The Federal Highway Administration reports that as of 2014, there were 8.4 million commercial and private motorcycles on the roads of the country. This is up from 8.0 million in 2009.

The latest data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, released in November of 2016, said that 4,976 people died in motorcycle accidents in 2015. This is an 8.3 percent increase from the 4,594 people who died in 2014. Some 88,000 motorcyclists were injured in accidents in 2015, which is down from 92,000 in 2014, a 4.3 percent decrease.

The age of motorcyclists involved in fatal accidents is a concern as the NHTSA reports that 54 percent of motorcyclists killed in 2014 were 40 or older. This number has increased significantly since 2005 when it was 47 percent. The average age of riders killed in 2014 was 42.

A study performed by researchers at Brown University found that older riders killed in motorcycle accidents suffered from a decline in vision and reaction time. The researchers also cited the larger body-type motorcycles that older riders tend to use, which have a higher rollover rate than smaller bikes.

In 2014, 29 percent of riders involved in fatal motorcycle accidents had a blood alcohol content of 0.08 or higher. In 2014,33 percent of riders involved in fatal accidents were speeding when the accident occurred.

One final statistic to ponder before your next ride: Twenty-eight percent of riders involved in fatal crashes in 2014 were riding without a valid license.

Motorcycle safety should be a top priority for anyone who owns a bike. There are safety classes and protective equipment on the market for riders to use to their advantage.

A personal injury attorney can help you learn more about motorcycle accidents and how you can protect yourself during your next ride.

Source: Insurance Information Institute, "Motorcycle Crashes," accessed Jan. 25, 2017

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